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Bus or train from Salisbury to Stratford-upon-Avon?

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Nov 26th, 2011, 02:59 PM
  #1
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Bus or train from Salisbury to Stratford-upon-Avon?

I will be traveling with two nieces in England this summer and we will be in London for four nights. Next I would like to stay one night in Salisbury and two nights in Stratford-upon-Avon. We will use public transportation for all of our travel. After our week in England we will take EuroStar to Paris for a week.

The train schedules between Salisbury and Stratford seem to be complicated. On National Express I found a bus that will take us there, but the trip is 8 hours. Is the bus a good option? Is the train better? Has anyone done this trip using public transportation?

Should we make the Salisbury trip a one-day trip out of London, return to London for a night or two, and then on to Stratford from London? I would love any advice I can get!
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Nov 26th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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The train will take about 2hrs 40mins but you'll have to change trains twice (at Basingstoke and Banbury). Not a bad journey at all IMO.

If you want simpler transit - then you'd have to rearrange the order of things so you are traveling to/from London. Something like visit Salisbury, then stay in London, then head up to Warwick. After which you could fly to Paris from Birmingham.
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Nov 27th, 2011, 05:40 AM
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www.nationalrail.co.uk has all the schedules like janis references and various fares - booking online early can means significant savings - great sites IMO for learning about British trains - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.coma and www.budgeteuropetravel.com. You may want to check out the Days of Out London railpass that would cover all your trips, even to Stratford and also give you a return trip on either the Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted Express trains - with the pass ou just hop on any train anytime - no formalities and fully flexible and often fully flexible tickets cost a fortune - check fares at www.nationalrail.co.uk and pass prices at sites I mention above - cannot buy passes at stations in Britain. And with a pass you can get a free pass to match yours for one British resident - so if they are traveling with you that could make it a good deal.
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Nov 27th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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Thanks for the advice about rail travel. I am fairly new to it because my DH and I always rented cars when we traveled together. I'll try those websites.
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Nov 28th, 2011, 08:26 AM
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Trains in England go practically everywhere all the time - often several trains an hour on main or commuter routes - thus you need not worry about schedules or your train running late - there will be another train to hop on in a few minutes - but if buying online discounted tickets be sure to know the conditions as they may well be train specific and not valid on other trains - a benefit of a pass is that you can literally show up and hop on any train anytime.
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Nov 28th, 2011, 09:04 AM
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I'm wondering why you want to spend 2 nights in Stratford. It's not my favorite place. Too tourist-trappy. Is it for a play? You could see a play at the Globe instead.

And is the night in Salisbury for an early morning visit to Stonehenge?

If you're taking the Eurostar, you need to be in London (or points east) well before its departure. You could do your 3 nights out in the middle of your week in London, but as you see that's not so easy transportation-wise.

If you're arriving after a long, overnight flight, you'll barely recover from jet-lag before having to leave London. Have your nieces seen London before? There's so much there. Consider limiting your overnight excursions and look into daytrips instead. There are day bus trips to Salisbury/Stonehenge and to Stratford/Oxford or Stratford/Warwick.
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Nov 28th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Salisbury itself should not be overlooked - to me one of the finest regional towns in the U K - I would stay there two nights - leaving a leisurely itinerary for Stonehenge such as taking the special behind the ropes tour right up to the stones themselves like you always used to be - have to book these thru National Trust I believe but a whole different experience than just joining the crowds behind the ropes well away from the stones.

Salisbury has a stunning cathedral and sweet riverside walks into the countryside - to where Turner or Constable or both once set up canvasses to paint the soaring spires of Salisbury Cathedral over pastures with cows grazing in them.

King Arthur's legendary Round Table I believe is in the cathedral. But Salisbury all in all is a sweet sweet regional town.

I like Stratford too - one of the cutest British regional towns I've been to - yes Stratford is a thriving regional town as well as a tourist mecca -especially nice when the day tripping crowds indeed have gone.
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Nov 28th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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"King Arthur's legendary Round Table I believe is in the cathedral."

(One just has to wonder sometimes) - That table would be in Winchester Cathedral . . .
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Nov 28th, 2011, 08:25 PM
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Actually the table is in Winchester but not in the Cathedral (that would be Jane (I won't us CW's prejorative, not even in tribute--sorry CW, I like her!) Austen's grave. That Table (which is real; it's the origins of it that are legendary) hangs on the wall of the Great Hall which is about all that remains of Winchester Castle.

So back to the OP--I agree with some of the above that there's no reason to leave London to see Salisbury and Stratford--make day trips of them. Might save you money in London by staying a week (unless you've already booked rooms). Salisbury can, as said, be combined with Stonehenge, as there's a bus that leaves from the train station to go to the Stones.

And actually Winchester (home of the Cathedral and the Round Table) is absolutely charming too and could be a nice day trip.

But really you could just spend all week in London!!!

If you can stay all the nights in London, and go on a few day trips, I'd probably suggest only 2 day trips. And Stratford isn't nearly as cool as Winchester (and I love Shakespeare, too--well, I love "his" works, anyway.)
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Nov 28th, 2011, 10:09 PM
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oops
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Nov 29th, 2011, 05:06 AM
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(One just has to wonder sometimes) - That table would be in Winchester Cathedral . .

yes one doth have to wonder at those who cast stones... oops janis being wrong? Oops!
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Nov 29th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Should we make the Salisbury trip a one-day trip out of London, return to London for a night or two, and then on to Stratford from London?>

Well that would be a lot more time on the train and more expensive too if no pass.
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Nov 29th, 2011, 01:33 PM
  #13
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I've revised my thinking. Stonehenge is a must for the nieces ages 14 and 17 who have never been to England. A second day trip to Windsor Castle, a must-see for one niece. Maybe the remainder should be in London as Texasbookworm suggests. I do not like to change hotels too often and traveling to Stratford would require, for my taste, staying over at least one night.

My philosophy is less is more in travel plans but I love England and am too eager to show them as much as possible. Best to remember that less is more.
Don't want their trip to be a blur of activity.
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Nov 29th, 2011, 06:14 PM
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If you care to read about our day trip to Salisbury and Stonehenge, then you could look at my TR, link below:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-day-trips.cfm

Scroll down to Day 3 for that pertinent info.

(And no matter what you do, if you stay busy at all it will be a blur! Just take lots of photos with good documentation, have them keep journals, and write up memories as soon as you can upon return! At least then the blur takes on some clarity and meaning.)
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